To celebrate 100 episodes, we have a treat for you! I asked some of my friends who are very knowledgeable in the photography and marketing spaces:
“What would you say is your best piece of advice to book more photography clients in 2022 and what’s working in your business?”
Marketing is Best Done in a Multi-Pronged Approach
“I love this topic of marketing and putting together something that is sort of like an amalgamation of all the best tips and strategies. And I guess I just wanted to start before I share my favorite strategy by saying that I am a big believer that marketing is always best done as sort of like a multi-pronged approach, right? There is no one single magic bullet when it comes to finding and connecting with new clients.
And so the best thing that anyone can do is use a variety of strategies that sort of meet people at different places and acknowledge their different places on the client journey. So let me just tell you about the strategy that worked for years and years in my business, and I’m not doing it anymore, which is the only reason that it is not still working, and that’s just because I am no longer taking many new photography clients.
The strategy was that I created a course, I’m a family photographer, and I created a short (it was about two and a half hours-long course) that I marketed to moms. And it was a course on how to use your expensive camera, whether it was a mirrorless or a DSLR camera, and kind of take better pictures of your own kids.
And I taught that class in a variety of places. I would offer it to some of my best clients if they wanted to host like a kind of a mom’s night-in, like an alternative to a book club, and they’d have their friends over and I would come over and everybody would have a glass of wine and I would teach this class.
Sometimes I did it at local shops and places where they would have maybe it was like a little boutique that was open during the day. And in the evening they had like a little event space where they would host small classes and they would market it to their clientele. And then those people would come in and I would teach it there.
I would also use that class when somebody wanted me to contribute some kind of thing to a school auction or a fundraiser event where they were doing an auction. Instead of auctioning off a portrait session, I would auction off this class and I would say whoever wins can invite 6-8 of their friends over. And again, it would be sort of like a mother’s night-in.
And what was amazing about this class, I kept it light and fun, but I made good content and I created a slide deck that used my images to illustrate all of these different concepts that I was teaching.
So basically, I was giving myself the opportunity to sit in a room with 6-8 women, chat, be totally non-salesy in any way, shape or form, but connect with them and essentially showcase my photos for all the time that we were together.
And then over the course of time, I would say almost 75% of the people that I taught that class to eventually ended up booking with me. And some of them have booked many, many times since.
So I was essentially establishing clients for life in a way that was zero pressure. It does take some work to put the class together, but once you’ve put it together and you’ve kind of gotten your slide deck all set up, it’s something that you can just kind of rinse and repeat over and over. And it is a great way to connect with people in person which really sets you apart from the crowd. Hope that’s helpful.
I love this tip SO much from Annemie and I actually forgot this is something I used to do too! I agree whole heartedly with everything she said so if this is something you’re considering, this is your kick in the booty to make it happen!
The next clip is from Linda Sidhu!
Maximize Sales by Building Your Email List
So one of my best tips for marketing as a photographer in 2022 would be to focus on your email list and make sure that you are taking your efforts that you’re doing with social media posts, maybe Facebook groups, any type of community that you have on a social media platform, and you’re converting those leads over to your email list.
The reason is because social media is wonderful, but it is not your platform. And so anything can happen. One of my clients that I created a quiz for, she actually launched her quiz right before she lost access to all of her social media. This was devastating for her because she actually had over a hundred thousand people that liked her business page. She had thousands of followers on Instagram. Creating a quiz and converting those leads prior to losing her platforms on all social media platforms was what really saved the day when she launched her course.
So what happened was we created a quiz, she shared it on her social media, on Instagram and in her Facebook group, on her Facebook page, she also ran Facebook ads to it, and she was able to generate thousands of leads.
And then in the meantime, somebody had hacked her account and she lost everything.
But the fact of the matter was she focused on email marketing and had the leads converted over to her platform before she lost access to her social media accounts.
And in 30 days, when she launched her quiz to promoting her course, she still generated $20,000 in sales because she had contacts on her email list.
So this is just a great example of why you really need to focus on your platform and make sure that you’re converting your leads from social media to a marketing channel that’s yours. But not only that social media only has about 2%-6% lifespan for each post. So email marketing has a better return on investment.
People are used to pulling out their credit cards and purchasing things via email. And just as a business owner and a mom myself, I feel like it’s really imperative to work smarter, not harder. And focusing on my email and making that a priority has really helped me grow six figures and beyond and I want that to be the same for you.
My students know I talk about this ALL the time – we don’t own social media. I love Linda’s tip to get your people OFF social media and to opt in to something you actually own, like your email list!
Ok let’s get into the next clip from Sara Monika!
Work Less and Earn More Revenue with Outsourcing
I’m Sara Monika and I’ve been a wedding photographer for free-spirited and adventurous couples for 11 years now. I’m also the host of the Shine + Thrive Photography Podcast and the creator of the Outsourcing Made Easy and the Intuitive Storytelling Methods for Photographers.
So my best business tip for photographers in 2022 is for the underpaid and overworked photographer. What I really want you to understand is that beginning to outsource in your photography business means that you no longer have to choose between being overworked and making great money or having more free time and making less money.
But instead, get this, you begin to see that it’s so possible for you to work less hard and make more money at the same time. Yes – you heard that right. And I’m all about giving real life examples with being open with my numbers. So here is some proof for you:
So seven years ago, when I found. Burnt out and overworked. I first decided to outsource, which felt really, really scary to let go of that control and that money. But I actually ended up doubling my revenue from $69,000 to $135,000 while cutting my working time in half. And this all happened in just one year.
And by the way, that was just me outsourcing my editing, not even anything else. But now, I’m at the point where I outsourced my editing, culling, slideshow creation, album design, admin work, and so much more. I get to work part-time hours while making my full-time dream revenue, which at this point is about $350,000 in revenue per year.
And thanks to outsourcing, I’ve been able to expand my career and also get into educating other photographers, which I’m so passionate about. So about half of my revenue comes from wedding photography and about half from education, just to be fully transparent so you kind of can get a sense of where everything’s coming.
Now, I know that not that not everybody wants to become an educator and that’s totally cool. So I do wanna give an example of some data that I kept track of with just my photography pillar of my business, so that you can see that outsourcing can help you so much even if maybe you’re a photographer that just wants to focus on photography and nothing else.
I know many of you document births and are really focused on that. But I believe in teaching only from experience. So I’m going to talk about my experience when it comes to outsourcing wedding work. But the same applies in any genre of photography across the board.
So in 2019, I had 25 weddings and my outsourced hours on those weddings were 355 hours that year. The amount of hours I spent working on those weddings, and that includes shooting time, was 375 hours. My revenue from weddings alone was $162,000. And my cost of outsourcing getting help with editing, culling, help with a virtual assistant was $11,000.
So that means that my revenue after the cost of outsourcing was $151,000. Now, of course, I still had other expenses in my business, but the outsourcing cost was probably one of the biggest chunk of it. So I still got to keep so much and have a really healthy income to hold on to for my life. And I wish I had more time to go in deeper with this, but in short, I wanted to leave you with the four lies that are killing your freedom and income:
- Lie #1, nobody can do it as well as I can.
- Lie #2, I’ll make less money if I outsource
- Lie #3, it’ll take me more time to train someone than to do it myself
- Lie #4, I won’t be a true artist if I get help in my business
I used to believe these lies too. And let me tell you, as soon as I stopped arguing for these limiting beliefs that were getting in the way of the life and business I desired, a whole new way of living opened up for me and I got to experience so much more time freedom and financial abundance.
So I would love to connect with you and I would love for you to learn more on this topic. So feel free to connect with me on IG, my handle is @saramonikaphoto. And make sure to also tune into my podcast, that’s the Shine + Thrive Photography Podcast. I hope this was helpful and I’ll catch you on the flip side.
A little teaser here, Sara is a guest on the podcast later in July and she’s talking ALL about outsourcing and raising your prices so I love that she shared a little glimpse into her genius here with you today. Definitely make sure to go check out her podcast as well!
Whew! I’m loving this episode y’all – let’s get into the next clip from my friend and fellow Okie photographer, Brooke Jefferson.
Ensure that Your Business is Adaptable
Hey, this is Brooke Jefferson with the Book More Clients Photography Podcast. And I wanna share my business/marketing advice for right now today. I think the number one thing you must do for your photography business right now is to be adaptable. The businesses that succeed are the ones that pay attention and adapt to their market and to any economic hardship.
This year has definitely been a different one for my personal photography business and for several of the photographers in my audience. So first I just wanna give you some encouragement, just hang with it. It’s not over. We’re gonna get through this. It’s just a little tocky right now. And my biggest business tip for being adaptable is to make sure that you are serving a profitable niche.
Yes, I coach to niching down because I truly think that when you are the go-to photographer for something that you are going to be able to be remembered, right? You don’t wanna be left behind. You want someone to immediately think of you when this particular thing happens that you photograph and that you serve.
So my biggest tip here is to make sure that you have a profitable niche. That means that you are specializing in something where someone has an opportunity that if they don’t take it, they miss out.
So before the crazy times, before the pandemic, all of those things, I feel like you could have been successful with any type of photography that you offered, but because so much has changed and so much is continuing to change, and buyer psychology is different, I just wanna encourage you to make sure that you are serving something that is profitable.
So these are things like maternity photography, newborn photography, birth photography – something that the moment’s going to pass them by that’s going to give you the urgency and the scarcity to get more bookings in your business.
For more business tips, come check out the Book More Clients Photography Podcast and keep listening to Tavia because she is absolutely amazing and will help you grow your business.
Brooke is a wealth of knowledge y’all and her podcast is definitely a must listen, so go check it out after this episode!!
Here we go with the 5th marketing tip!
Maintain Your Connection with Your Ideal Clients and Audience with an E-Newsletter
Hello, I’m Lisa from Milk and Honey Photography and The Milky Way. And I am excited to share one of my favorite marketing tips – I think it’s probably my absolute favorite marketing tip – and it’s having an e-news. It’s having a way for you to connect with your ideal client, your audience, and to maintain that connection with them.
I think it’s so important in this time where we have all these different social media platforms. When I first started my company and my business in 2010, Facebook was really taking off. And as we know, things have really changed over the past 10 or so years. What I find and what I’ve really noticed is many photographers really just rely on one strategy – either being Facebook, using Facebook ads, Instagram, or even just their website without having a way to stay top of mind and connect with their ideal client.
Since 2011 with The Milky Way, we have had our weekly e-news and it’s our way of connecting with our audience. For my photography business, I’ve been a little bit more sporadic with it. I do a once-a-month email to my e-news list and it’s grown over the years.
Now this has been really beneficial for me because when I have different things like different events, like holiday minis come up, I actually book out within hours, because I have maintained that connection with my clients. So if you are going to have one thing that you are going to be adding to your business that you may not be currently doing in your marketing strategy, I would suggest adding an e-news. And whether it be you have an opt-in on your website and an opt-in would be something like a downloadable style guide for your clients, or just something that they could take away with them, and a reason for them to give you their email. So if that’s not something you’re already doing, I would highly encourage to make that part of your business process. And I hope that helps.
You know when the same idea is mentioned twice it must be important right!! So if you haven’t started your email list yet or you’re not actively growing it yet, remember that you’ve heard from 2 marketing pros how valuable having that list is! Make sure to check out Lisa’s podcast The Art & Soul Show if you’re looking for heart-opening chats on photography and business and life and everything in between.
THANK YOU, FRIEND!
I’m so thankful to these women for sharing their best of the best tips and advice, we’re going to link their podcasts and ways to connect with them in the show notes.
And thank YOU for allowing me into your ear buds and car speakers each and every week. So many of you have shared the show with friends and left encouraging reviews and those things mean the WORLD to me and keep this show thriving so THANK YOU for listening and for 100 episodes. Here’s to 100 more!
You know what’s coming next!
My friend, if you have a passion – it’s not an accident. Not everyone loves photography, or event planning, or real estate… whatever your passion is, it’s there for a REASON. What are you going to do with that passion? Get out there and make it happen! Have a great week y’all!